'What If...?' Episode 5 Is a Little Too Reminiscent of Our Pandemic World

Almost halfway through Disney Plus’s ‘What If…?,’ many Marvel fans have questions about what Episode 5 is about and what happens in it. SPOILERS!

Jamie Lerner - Author

Sep. 8 2021, Updated 7:06 p.m. ET

Peter Parker Episode 5 'What If...?'
Source: Marvel

Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of What If...?

After Episode 5 of What If…?, it’s safe to say that the Marvel multiverse will never cease to amaze us. Truly, anything can happen, and we’re wondering how What If…? can possibly keep going from here. Every episode has been better than the last, and the things that happen in Episode 5 are pretty impressive.

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Fans had a lot of theories regarding what What If…? Episode 5 would be about, and one plot theory, which even gave way to a fan-made trailer, trumped them all. However, despite a large consensus that What If...? Episode 5 would be about "Party Thor," it actually surprised us all (though we still expect to hang out with "Party Thor" later this season).

'What If...?' episode 5 Captain America
Source: Marvel
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There was one main theory regarding what Episode 5 of ‘What If…?’ would be about.

The general consensus was that we would finally meet a Thor variant in What If…? Episode 5. After a season of Loki and many Loki variants, the Marvel fanbase has long been awaiting a Thor variant to match his brother’s multiversal chaos (although we did technically meet Frog Thor in Loki).

And now, with Episode 5, many of us were hoping to finally meet this (more human-like) Thor variant, but we were instead faced with "variants" of a different kind: infected zombies.

'What If...?' episode 5 Hawkeye
Source: Marvel
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One Reddit theorizer who has been close to correct about the plots for the first four episodes surmised, “Party Thor lands in Las Vegas instead of that little New Mexico town. Parties so hard it becomes world-ending.” But for the first time, this Redditor was incorrect about the plot of the newest What If...? episode, since What If...? Episode 5 is actually titled, "What If...Zombies?"

The plot of 'What If...?' Episode 5 leans towards the horror genre.

Episode 5 of What If...? is actually based on Marvel Zombies, a 2005-06 Marvel comic book series written by Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman. In the series, the Marvel heroes live in a world infected with “The Hunger,” which causes everyone to crave human flesh. So now, What If...? is introducing us to a new take on the zombie apocalypse in "What If...Zombies?"

It's basically a fast-spreading, incurable virus... Sound familiar?

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'What If...?' episode 5 Wong and Strange
Source: Marvel

However, this episode of What If...? takes some creative liberties, to say the least. In the comic books, the Avengers are still totally conscious and aware of their condition, whereas in What If...?, all of the zombies are just mindless man-eating zombies.

We also get a completely new plot that mirrors WandaVision, but in reverse. Vision, who's an android that zombies have no appetite for, attracts innocent people to feed to Zombie Wanda in hopes that he can find a cure for her.

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'What If...?' episode 5 Wanda
Source: Marvel

However, when Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Bucky, and Okoye figure out what's really going on with the Vision's "cure," they reason with him about how he's hurting the greater good, and Vision surrenders. He was even holding T'Challa hostage so that Wanda could feed on his leg (ew).

T'Challa, Peter, and Scott Lang's head, floating on Doctor Strange's cloak of levitation, make it out alive and are feeling hopeful, but in some dramatic irony, we see Zombie Thanos with the infinity gauntlet.

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Now that it's aired, people have more theories about the plot of 'What If...?' Episode 5.

Of all the episodes of What If...?, Episode 5 definitely ends on the biggest cliffhanger. This has led many Marvel fans to predict that there will be a second part of "What If... Zombies?" And what does Zombie Thanos ending up with the infinity gauntlet mean?

Well, we can be sure that he will be going after the mind stone, which is currently in Peter's possession because it repels zombies. So will Zombie Thanos even be able to get his hands on it?

'What If...?' episode 5 Thanos
Source: Marvel
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If Zombie Thanos does complete his infinity gauntlet, what will he do with it? Surely, he won't still want to wipe out half the population, since he probably just wants more human flesh to eat. Could he use it to end the virus? Thanos did always claim that he was wiping out the universe for the "greater good" even though we know that there's no way to put a good spin on mass genocide.

'What If...?' episode 5 Ironman
Source: Marvel

In Episode 4, we see what happens when a Marvel hero turns to the dark side to defy nature. But in Episode 5, we see what happens when the dark side takes over almost all of our Marvel heroes.

Episode 5 of What If…? is now available to stream on Disney Plus.

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